‘Intelligence’ helped EC seize poll goodies

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Bangalore: Election Commission has planted informants almost everywhere

The Election Commission, this Lok Sabha polls, has put in place an informal intelligence system to curb malpractices in the State.

With the assistance of informants placed by it, the poll panel has recovered illegal goods and cash, totally valued at Rs 28 crore as on Wednesday afternoon.

With the likelihood of seizure of cash, liquor and other articles increasing over the next 24 hours, the EC is banking heavily on its informants placed in almost every taluk and district.

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EC officials state that almost all these informants in the rural areas are part of the Village Awareness Groups which have been organised by them prior to the start of the election process.

It is said that almost all the groups were created with the help of the deputy commissioner in each district. At the urban centres, the EC organised such groups with the help of non-governmental organisations.

It is learnt that the informants were roped in over the last one week, when the EC made several cash seizures. Sources said that the information provided was of high credibility.

An amount of Rs 1.8 crore was seized at the Devanahalli checkpost and Rs 45 lakh in Kodagu. In the case of the Devanahalli checkpost, the EC was informed that the money was being transported in a Honda car.

In Kodagu, the money was recovered from a Tata Indica. Sources said that the details provided by informants were precise, including the time of arrival. One of the massive cash seizures (in Bellary), to the tune of Rs 10 crore, was also due to a tip-off by an informant.

In most locations, the EC officials have provided SIM cards to members of the village awareness groups and the urban informants to call up officials, in case of suspicious activities. The informants are expected to give a missed call to the EC officials, who will call them back to get the information.

It is said that the EC has put its informants on high alert, across the slums in the urban pockets and those in the taluk and district level, to keep an eye on the movement of contraband and cash. The EC has also asked its officials to be on the rounds till 1 am on April 17.

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